08 August 2006

2 FOs in one day!

I finished the patchwork felted pillows - both done, down to the ties that bind them - and the Yak Scarf as of last night. Posted about them to the UFO August list. Ura! All this accomplishment is going to my head.

Here's the second pillow, front and back, not yet stuffed to show off how much worse it looks when it's deflated (er, or rather, how much better it looks when poofy, like the first one that I already showed off).

Here's the scarf, before blocking. It's about to go in the bath in a minute, which ought to flatten it out. I did it in the kind of rib that has garter between the stockinette strips, instead of reverse stockinette. Whatever that's called. It's pretty and soft, but god what a bore that was. I have a bit of leftover Yak/Merino - possibly enough for some fingerless mitts or something of that nature....

Worked a bit on the socks, too, but not enough to bother photographing. I now have a pile of cut-out felt ready to be sewn into handbags - more handbags than I could know what to do with - but I'm not in any hurry to work on them. I think I'll do them a bit at a time, as a break from knitting. The AlterKnits book (by Leigh Radford, which is where I got the idea, since Jenn asked in the comments, although I think the idea of felting machine-knit Goodwill sweaters and cutting them up for various purposes has been around a while - I'm pretty sure I've seen or heard of it elsewhere), anyway, the book suggests sewing them together by machine, but since last time I did this it was a royal pain to get my machine to sew through such thick fabric, I'm going to do again what I did then, and what I did with the pillows - sew them by hand with feltable yarn, so that the first time you wash the finished object, it felts the seams right into the fabric and makes it extremely secure.

Using yarn, the stitches do show, and of course I don't usually have yarn that exactly matches the store-bought sweater, so I usually pick something contrasting or otherwise meant to be noticed. It has more of a home-made look than the handbags Leigh Radford made, but I like it.

Oh, and btw, I noticed when I did this before that when you wash them after sewing them up, if they were really as felted as could be when you sewed them together, they don't shrink any further, and the stitches (if not right next to each other, as in blanket stitch) don't felt to each other to make the seams tighten up. They just felt ever so slightly into the fabric, making them more secure but not affecting the size and shape of the bag. Very nice. You could do the same thing by taking a felting needle to the seams, but I'm lazy so I just wait till the thing needs to be washed next anyway, and throw it in the washing machine.

Here's my work basket filled to brimming with potential handbags:

And here's what the cut-out pieces look like, all cut according to the pattern suggested by Radford.

I like this better than the monk-style bags I made before, but it really does work better if you start out with sweaters that are about a women's large. Mine were mostly young adult or women's small, and it made it difficult to get handles of appropriate length or width. So five out of these 7 (the one not pictured is the "mint choc chip" bag I showed in an earlier post), are really too small to be practical, at least for me. I like a bag to hold a book, papers, knitting, plus all the usual necessities. So they're cute, but I doubt I'll use them much, and I'll definitely give away a couple to friends or family who don't carry around as much stuff as I do....

Meanwhile, two more people have now filled out my Knit Geek Questionnaire on their blogs!!


And Caroline had a brilliant idea for an extra question, which I've duly added to the template (link at left, or here).

PS - Thanks also to Jennifer for the suggestion to use my newly re-discovered embroidery floss collection to knit dollhouse rugs and afghans. It reminded me of the episode of Cast-On in which Sage from Quirky Nomads regaled us about miniature crochet...while I don't want to go quite as small as she did, I'm totally going to try my hand at some mini knitting....It's a good use for my tiniest DPNs, too!

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